Snow-Goose Heaven

Let It Snow

By Marc Drewek

Snow goose hunting was stopped in 1916 because of low population levels. Hunting was allowed again in 1975 after a long recovery. Since then, their numbers have escalated to the point where they are destroying their nesting habitat in the arctic tundra. Many of their areas are also used by other species of birds and wildlife. Snow geese are grazers and feed mainly on grasses and sedges. In and around many nesting colonies, grazing by geese is so intense that it kills the plants and leaves the ground void of plant life. This over grazing of plants leads to erosion of thin layers of topsoil needed to sustain plant life. As the geese destroy these prime areas they move on to less productive areas that are more delicate and easier to destroy. Once these areas are gone, the moisture in the soil evaporates and leads to salinization (buildup of salt). This then leads to areas totally void of plant life; ultimately destroying their own habitat. This habitat is fragile and cannot tolerate the ever increasing snow goose population. At some point, there will be an environmental disaster. This fragile habitat may take decades to recover, if it recovers at all. Continue Reading